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May 8, 2013

The Amount of U.S. Corn Switching may be less than Anticipated

If the planting weather improves going forward, there may not be as much corn acreage switched to soybeans or claimed as prevent plant as what had been anticipated. I had expected that 1-3 million acres of corn would not be planted to corn, but now I think it might be closer to one million than to three million.

My biggest concern had been the northwestern Corn Belt especially along the border of North Dakota and Minnesota where the Red River was predicted to crest at 38 feet. It turned out that the flooding was not as bad as predicted because the river only crested at 33 feet. The river is currently at 25 feet and dropping fast. The situation along the river could still deteriorate of course if there are additional heavy rains in the area, but for now it looks more positive.

I still think we could lose a few corn acres in the Delta where there are still an estimated 250,000 acres of corn not planted (150,000 acres of corn remain to be planted in Arkansas and 100,000 acres remain to be planted in Mississippi). Farmers in the Delta will probably switch some of those remaining acres to soybean production or maybe some additional cotton production.

At the present time, I don't think there will be any major shift out of corn across the central Corn Belt. It has been wet and cold across the central Corn Belt, but there hasn'Cbt been extensive flooding or super-saturated conditions that would preclude planting corn if conditions improve over the next few weeks. The corn planting across the central Corn Belt would have to be delayed until late May before any significant amount of corn acreage would be switched to soybeans or claimed as prevent plant.